pill bug sow bugSowbugs are not actually bugs at all. They are crustaceans that live on land. Related to shrimp and crayfish, the sowbug is unable to retain moisture and seeks moist environments to compensate. When sowbugs get inside a building, they will only survive if they can find these conditions, so basements, bathrooms, and kitchens are important places to check. Any place where your pipework leaks can also be a problem area.

Sowbugs feed mostly on decomposing plants, which means your gardens, pots, and planters are also prime targets. Thankfully, though sowbugs can become a nuisance, they are not known to cause physical harm. Because they can damage your plants through feeding, it’s important to address their appearance. The experts at Griffin Pest Solutions can tackle an infestation, but with a few do-it-yourself preventative measures, you can keep sowbugs from ever getting in.

Additional Pest Information

Appearance – They have gray bodies that are in many segments; they can be up to 3/8 inch long. Sow bugs have kind of a tail on the back end; pill bugs do not have the tail and are able to roll up into a ball when they’re bothered. Because of this, they are also known as “roly-polies”.

Biology – Growing from an egg to an adult can take a year, and live as adults for up to 3 years. They breed mainly in the spring. They like damp dark areas, and are mainly found outdoors under stones, logs, and leafs.

Prevention – Seal cracks and holes in the home if possible. Get rid of possible damp areas in your home, especially in basements and crawl spaces. Do not over water indoor plants because pill and sow bugs will be attracted to them and damage them. Their presence is usually in damp areas in the home, and leaks should be repaired. Once the humidity levels are down, the bugs will die off or leave.

Sowbug Prevention

1. Think about small spots around the house that might serve as dark, damp hiding places. Decorative items on your porch, piles of logs, and the spaces behind basement appliances are some examples. Address these spots or dry out the spaces.

2. Install a dehumidifier to reduce basement moisture.

3. Make sure exterior doors close tightly.

4. Replace damaged or worn weather strips.